What is PRINCE2 Methodology?
To excel in project management, you and your team must be organized and perform well. The different existing project management methodologies allow you to organize your project in a streamlined and structured way. They help you accomplish every step, from planning to delivery, for efficiency and profitability. In this article, we will see in detail what PRINCE2 methodology is.
PRINCE2 at a Glance
PRINCE2 stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments, and the figure “2” refers to the second version of the method, published in 1996. It is a pragmatic, structured, scalable and adaptable method that organizes, and to effectively monitor all types of projects, regardless of size. This method is now widely used internationally.
Historical Prospective of PRINCE2 Methodology
The PRINCE2 method was created in the UK, but its strengths are now recognized around the world.
In 1975, the British company Simpact Systems Ltd created a project management method called PROMPT (Project Reporting, Organization & Planning Technique), based on successful practical experiences.
In 1979, the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), which became the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 1980, defined the PROMPT method as the standard for all UK IT projects.
In 1989, the method was significantly revised and became PRINCE.
In 1996, PRINCE expanded and became more flexible in order to manage all types of projects of all sizes. The method is renamed PRINCE2. It will be updated twice in 2005 and 2009, but will retain its denomination.
Process of PRINCE2 Methodology
PRINCE2 provides a framework and guidelines for effective project management.
- PRINCE2 is based on: 7 principles that set out the guidelines to follow
- 7 themes that describe the aspects of project management to be continuously addressed in order to carry out the project;
- 7 processes detailing the activities to be carried out to carry out the project
The 7 Principles of PRINCE2 Methodology
The PRINCE2 methodology is based on seven fundamental principles from which its entire organization derives: Permanent justification for the purpose of the project;
- Capitalization, i.e. drawing lessons from the experience gained from previous projects;
- Definition of the roles and responsibilities of each team member;
- Cutting the project into steps;
- Management by exception, which implies clear responsibilities for each hierarchical level;
- Concentration on the project, i.e. the definition, delivery and quality expected;
- Adaptability of the method to the project environment, but also to its size, complexity, importance and potential risks.
The 7 themes
These themes describe the aspects of project management that must be addressed at all times throughout the project. There are seven of them, like the principles on which they are based.
- The business case: it answers the question “why do you do this project? “ This is the justification for the existence of the project for the company. Its realization must create value for the company. If a project does not have a valid business case, it must not be launched and if the justification for the project is called into question during its implementation, it must be stopped.
- The organization: it is a question of defining the roles and the responsibilities of the members of the team. Everyone needs to know exactly what they need to do to effectively manage the project.
- Quality management: the project must respect the customer’s quality requirements.
- Planning: it is a question of defining the steps necessary for the realization of the project.
- Risk management: this theme describes the establishment of an effective risk management procedure to identify, assess and control potential risks associated with the project.
- Managing change: This topic explains how to manage the various changes that can occur during the execution of the project (supplier problems, customer changes, etc.).
- Progress Monitoring: It explains how to monitor and monitor the progress of the project, and verifies whether the project retains its purpose.
The PRINCE2 methodology requires the implementation of all themes throughout the project.
The 7 Processes
A process is a structured set of activities designed to achieve a specific objective. The processes describe the stages of the project’s life from launch to closing. Each process provides a checklist of activities that each team member must perform in order to achieve a specific outcome.
PRINCE2 has seven processes that bring together all the activities necessary to successfully organize, manage and deliver a project:
- Elaborate the project: the objective of this process is to authorize or not to start the project.
- Leading the project: the aim is to enable the steering committee to monitor and control the project throughout its duration (the day-to-day management of the project is delegated to the project manager).
- Initialize the project: this is a key process that produces the project’s initialization documentation allowing to precisely defining the perimeter and the context of the project (communication strategies, risks, configuration and quality, the detailed business case and the various project controls).
- Controlling a sequence: This is the day-to-day work of the project manager. The objective is to measure and control the progress and execution of each phase.
- Manage project delivery: The purpose of this process is to manage the relationship between project teams and the project manager by establishing formal requirements for acceptance, execution and delivery of project work. The teams inform the project leader of the progress of the project. The aim is to ensure that the project delivered meets the quality requirements.
- Manage a sequence limitation: to provide the steering committee with elements to validate the success and thus the end of the current phase, and thus to authorize the start of the next phase.
- Closing the project: the objective is to close the project properly, to evaluate it and to draw up the end-of-project balance sheet. This process also makes it possible to archive the experiments and observations realized for future projects.
PRINCE2 is a structured method that provides a standard approach to project management by integrating good practices already proven. This methodology can be adapted to any type of project, regardless of its environment and size. Finally, remember that the seven principles, the seven themes and the seven processes on which this method is based must be scrupulously followed throughout the project so that it is recognized PRINCE2.